How to recycle batteries
Batteries have become so common in our lives that we now hardly notice them. They are a fantastic innovation that works by them storing chemical energy before converting it into electricity.
The most common batteries we use today are AA’s and AAA’s, or phone and car batteries. They are made from resources that include lead, cadmium, zinc, lithium and mercury, which means they are highly toxic and need to be specially recycled when they’re no longer in use.
No batteries should be disposed of as normal municipal household waste due to a high risk of pollution to the environment.
Every battery that you recycle will then be dismantled, leaving the materials to be recovered and reused for other batteries or a new product entirely. There is a crossed-out wheeled bin symbol on all batteries. This is to indicate that they cannot be disposed of in normal waste streams and should be taken to a recycling centre.
How do you recycle batteries?
Since February 2010, stores that have sold more than 32 kilogrammes of batteries per year must provide customers with a battery recycling container in store. As a result, there are now many accessible recycling points where you can take your old batteries to be recycled whilst doing your weekly shop.
Battery packs from a computer, mobile phone or DIY tools can be taken to special collection points in supermarkets. Here, you’ll be able to drop off your batteries into the recycling bins at designated battery collection stations, battery packs from computers, cellphones, power tools, and remote control devices can be recycled. If you can’t get the power pack out, toss the whole thing in with your electrical recycling instead of the standard household rubbish.
It is illegal to dispose of car batteries in a standard rubbish bin in the UK. The best place to take them is a household waste recycling centre or your local garage and scrap yard; however, it is always best to contact them first to make sure they’re able to take them for you. These batteries must be separated from household batteries as they cannot be recycled together in the supermarket recycling bins.
If you need to dispose of batteries found in laptops, you can contact your local council to find out if they offer a battery collection service in your area. If not, they can be taken to your local recycling centre or to the shop they were purchased from, as many now offer a take-back scheme to improve recycling initiatives.